In all cultures, people mark special occasions in their lives with celebrations and parties. We, the editorial board of the Yearbook of Women’s History, are no exception. In 2020, the Yearbook will celebrate its 40th anniversary! It will celebrate that dedicated editors and writers contributed to the continuity in addressing women’s history, inequality and gender relations as expressed in cultural institutions and customs since the first Yearbook appeared in 1980. We want to celebrate this milestone with an issue on the theme Gender and Partying, and are looking for original contributions, historical and contemporary, addressing the gendered nature of parties, festivals, commemorations and celebrations of any type. The Yearbook invites submissions on any aspect of ‘celebration’ across history and cultures including, but not limited to, the following themes:
Celebrations and parties can be private or public occasions. In both spheres they are considered exceptional, something out of the ordinary. At the same time celebrations often confirm existing rules, habits, and alliances. How and what we celebrate is tightly connected to how communities and societies are organized in secular, political, and religious ways, and to what is seen as accepted behaviour and to who belongs where. Which events and celebrations are deemed worthy to be public holidays? Who is celebrating and who is celebrated in national days, commemorative days, or election parties? Who are in- and excluded in the celebrations, in terms of gender, race, class, sexualities, economic disparities, and bodily vulnerability? What is celebrated in the personal sphere and how, and what do baby showers, coming out parties, and bachelors’ parties say about gender in terms of family life, sexuality, kinship or romantic relationships?
At the same time, celebrations often leave space to transgress established roles or are even centred on the reversal of these roles (the ancient Roman festival Saturnalia, carnival, Onnozele Kinderen). Rites of passage marking a new role in a group or society are also celebrated (bar or bat mitzvah, graduation, hazing). How is masculinity or femininity celebrated in initiation parties, and how has this changed over time? How gendered are rites of initiation for girls or boys? In what ways are rituals and festivities connected to ‘traditional’ gender roles (e.g. Diwali light festival, Islamic Eid alFitr festival or carnival after fasting, marriage, the Eurovision Song Festival, children’s birthday parties)? Have changing notions of gender affected the way we celebrate, now or in the past?
Visual and material culture is essential to researching celebration. Which extravagant dress forms and costumes were designed for fêtes and festivities? How do certain objects mediate celebration, LET’S CELEBRATE! GENDER AND PARTYING like a housewarming party, book release, or a ceremonial ship launching? How do parties celebrate real buildings and the environment, for example when historical re-enactment marks the birthday of an important public building; how is this envisioned, and is there a role for women? Political parties engage the public with election parties but also with historical celebrations. How do women participate? What about gendering related to food and drinks, for example at a barbeque or cocktail party? How do music and dance – rock-and roll parties, debutante balls, disco – reflect gender constructions? How are parties commercialized for exclusive product sales, as at the Tupperware party? How are gender relations portrayed in literature or film about parties and celebrations (Jour de fête, 1949; The Party, 1968; The Party, 2017; Babettes gæstebud, 1987)? And how are sports victories celebrated?
We invite authors to submit their abstracts before 1 September 2019. The timetable below sets out key dates for your attention.
Abstracts (300 words, 100 words bio) can be sent to Evelien Walhout: firstname.lastname@example.org. Contributions can be regular papers between 4000 and 7000 words, interviews, discussion items of circa 3000 words max, and picture essays.
Deadline for abstracts: 1 September 2019.
Deadline for the full papers: 15 December 2019.
Language of publication: English
Publication date aimed for December 2020.
All articles will be peer reviewed.